MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Billions of dollars are coming to VA hospitals across the country, including the one in Memphis.
President Barack Obama signed a new law aimed at cutting down on delays.
The VA has been rocked with scandal recently, with reports of patients even dying from insufficient or delayed care.
The law is called the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act. It will allow more staff to be hired and give the VA secretary more power to quickly fire under-performing administrators, but it comes at a hefty price.
Gwendolyn Roberts is an army veteran and the Memphis VA patient, one who is frustrated with the care she is receiving.
“They’re rude. They’re arrogant,” she said of the VA. “They act like we owe them.”
VA hospitals across the country came under fire recently for delayed care and even some deaths that were reported.
Now, the president has signed a new law aimed at correcting the problems.
“It’s about time that the president did something more for the veterans,” Roberts said.
The law allots $5 billion for hiring more doctors and nurses and $10 billion to pay private doctors to treat those who cannot get quick enough care at their own VA centers.
Veteran Charles Chandler said, “I have prescriptions to be refilled. Sometimes I get them. Sometimes I don’t.”
It also makes it easier for the VA secretary to fire under-performing administrators.
But of course the law does not come without a hefty cost. It is estimated to cost $16 billion over the next three years and at $10 billion to the federal deficit over the next decade.
Local vets insist it is money well spent.
The law also devotes money to building more VA centers and cuts bonuses for VA employees by $40 million.